No one knows exactly what is going to happen in the coming days, but we can make an educated guess in some areas. Connor McDavid is going to have a great time at the NHL Awards Show and will need to build another cabinet to house the Art Ross Trophy (and maybe more).
The Oilers are also going to have to deal with the verbal if and when Griffin Reinhart is chosen by the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft. The news stories will state Reinhart was a legendary junior and a No. 4 overall pick, and the more astute writers will mention his relative youth and the importance of having young talent on an expansion team.
George McPhee will probably talk about how delighted the Golden Knights were to get this player and why, at 23, he is a big piece of the future (along with their draft picks and other youths culled from the 30 established teams).
Back in Edmonton, the worldwide web will be humming with the mixture of gallows humor and soaring hyperbole that can only be produced by a decade in hockey’s equivalent to wandering the desert. “Griffin Reinhart for picks No. 16 and No. 33 in a deep 2015 draft” will be written across the twitter sky in block letters, bold, 34 font, Times New Roman.
It’s going to be awful, and by awful I mean complete scouting reports on Mathew Barzal and the other guy, I mean 5,000 tweets saying something like “they had Klefbom and Nurse, with Sekera on the way!” and even though this story will be below the fold (HEADLINE: McDavid cleans up at NHL Awards, Joe Manganiello brilliant as host!), it will be front page (edging out the comedy: “Gladys Knight, Golden Knights!” “Golden Knights, Gladys Knight!”) on all blogs, newspapers, flyers, facebook, tinder, Instagram and Dickie Dee ice cream trucks.
As bad as it will be, it’s the right thing to do. The Oilers may find a way to offer more to Vegas in exchange for drafting Benoit Pouliot, but that doesn’t get them closer to the Stanley Cup. No one is defending the trade now, and Reinhart should be allowed to find his own way in a town where the price for procurement doesn’t hang over his head daily.
There will be a small window where the Edmonton Oilers have to endure the verbal slings and arrows of a fan base gone wild. The business of winning the Stanley Cup suggests Peter Chiarelli has bigger fish to fry this summer, and that’s the lead story the moment the big trade goes down. Maybe it happens the morning after the expansion draft. Not a bad idea.